Explore BC

Follow four travel bloggers—two teams of two—on a month-long adventure as they Explore BC and its many unique experiences.

Team Orca consists of Brendan and Rob, hailing from Rocky Mountain House and Ottawa, respectively. Both are seasoned world travellers and this will be the first time they’ll be meeting each other. Team Eagle is Dina and Ryan, a husband-and-wife duo from London, Ontario, who have visited more than 40 countries together since 2009, yet have never visited British Columbia.

Over the course of four weeks this summer, these four bloggers will attempt to experience much of what BC has to offer: everything from white-water rafting and whale watching to gliding and rock climbing; from winery tours and brewery tours to historic museums and aboriginal experiences. Be sure to follow the adventure on our Facebook page and have your say in where they go and what they do!

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31 posts tagged Ryan

The Hell’s Gate Airtram spans Fraser Canyon, a spectacular rocky divide cut by the Fraser River. We visited at a great time, as high water made for dramatic scenery, with white water churning below. The ride across was a little scary, but I was so distracted by the views that I hardly noticed. We visited at a lucky time as we could see salmon jumping along the fish ladder, heading upstream to spawn.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Kelowna Bear Ryan U Pick cherry Dina U Pick cherry Ogopogo loves Canadian Apples Japanese Garden Waterfront Knox mountain

It’s cherry season in the Okanagan, and we’ve been eating fat, fresh, and delicious cherries every day! In Kelowna, we picked the cherries ourselves straight from the orchard. Much more fun and cheaper that way! Bring those cherries to the beach, and snack on them while relaxing under the sun. What a way to enjoy a lazy summer afternoon in the Okanagan!

Downtown Kelowna is beautiful. We enjoyed a nice easy stroll around the Cultural District. Starting at Stuart Park at the blue grizzly bear statue, we continued to the Japanese Garden, the museums, and the art walk. We munched some delicious Mennonite apple pie at the Log Barn, then walked along the wharf, saying hi to the legendary lake monster Ogopogo. Back in Stuart Park, we joined the locals in the Dancing in the Park event!

For the best view over Kelowna? Hike up Knox Mountain!

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Painting Deck Breakfast main Deer Bedroom Breakfast Art Yogurt sunset

We recently stayed at a unique B&B in Penticton: Cormier Studio. The home doubles as an art gallery, stocked with interesting works by the owners, Kena and Lawrence. Every morning Kena makes an amazing breakfast using seasonal ingredients, served al fresco on their patio. During the day we saw deer roaming through the backyard, and at night we were treated to an incredible sunset.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Sunset Beautiful scenery Hay ham Appetizer JoieFarm Rose

Every week, God’s Mountain Estate hosts an alfreco vineyard dinner prepared by Joy Road Catering. Last week we were fortunate enough to spend our evening there, savouring innovative locally-sourced foods (Hay-baked ham, anyone?) matched with delicious wines.

Joy Road’s chef Dana’s love for slow, local, seasonal foods showed through in every dish. With each course she explained not only how the dish was cooked, but where the ingredients came from, who grew them, and why she chose them. It added a whole new dimension to the experience.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Fruit stand Beach

We stopped at a fruit stand by the highway and picked up some beautiful local cherries, then went to Sun Oka beach on Okanagan Lake. We lazed on the sand all afternoon, enjoying our delicious fruit and soaking up the sun.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

VagabondQuest Deer Elevation 1873 meters Flower

By far, our favourite thing we did in Osoyoos was hiking to the top of Kobau Mountain. Why? Because it’s spectacular up there! Shrub-steppe at the bottom, mixed with pine forest and alpine flower meadows on the top. The view to Osoyoos city and the unique Spotted Lake with mountains and valleys as far as you can see are breathtaking.

1873m high, you don’t have to hike all the way from the bottom. We drove our Toyota Prius pretty near to the top, parked there, and had a leisurely 30 minute  hike to the top. We made a lot of stops observing the flowers along the way. We spotted some I haven’t seen anywhere else!

We didn’t see anyone else on the mountain that day, which made us love it even more: it was like having the whole world to ourselves!

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Salmon catching The house Scenery Rattlesnake Dina

Watch for rattlesnakes!, said the little yellow sign in the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre.

We opened our eyes wide, trying to spot one, but this shy little friend wouldn’t show up.

Even though it’s called the Okanagan Desert or Nk’Mip Desert by the the native band Osoyoos, this semi-arid land actually is shrub-steppe. I love the pale green nuance of it. Mountains and mountains tufted with pale green shrubs, meeting the gorgeous coppery-blue Osoyoos Lake.

In Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, we enjoyed the natural walk through this desert-land of dry pale green shrubs. 

It’s cool to imagine the life of the native band Osoyoos in this area in the past. Among many things, they caught salmon from the river, and then wind-dried them for preservation.

On the way out, don’t forget to grab a bag of candied salmon at the cultural centre’s shop. It’s really tasty! We munched it all the way to Keremeos the next day!

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

We toured the Burrowing Owl Winery in Oliver B.C., not far from Osoyoos. The vineyard was beautiful, with the view of a carpet of vines surrounded by mountains. We tried some wines - from the ones described as fruity, to ones described in the tasting notes as having notes of ‘graphite’ and ‘leather’. Our favourite? The Chardonnay!

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

We just experienced the Mascot Gold Mine tour in Hedley, BC. It’s a good hour drive up a winding mountain road to get up to the mine site, and then 589 steps down to the old gold mining buildings. It’s interesting to see how the miners lived and worked, and hear some of the stories from the guide. Unfortunately you can’t go very deep into the tunnels right now, but they’re working on getting permission to allow visitors deeper into the mine. Still, it was an interesting afternoon.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Rossland used to be a gold rush town, and now it is the mountain bike capital of Canada. Or so it’s called by many! Rossland and the Red Mountain Resort nearby have a very extensive trail system that is heaven for mountain bike afficionados. Both experts and beginners can enjoy this terrain.

A fun thing to look for when biking around this area is old mine shafts! The trail system overlays an extensive system of gold mines, and sometimes the surface collapses. Don’t worry, it won’t collapse on the track itself. But here and there from the trail you can spot them. We saw 2!

Thanks Deanne and Sarah for a great day of mountain biking!

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Fort Steele town Ryan Dina tries on a bonnet Steam train

Fort Steele in East Kootenay was a gold rush boom town in the 19th century. After a few decades, the town was abandoned when the rail line was built through nearby Cranbrook, and slowly withered away. About a hundred years later, Fort Steele has reopened as a heritage town. Last week we visited to see how an old-timey gold rush town looks.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Emerald Lake Emerald Lake and Ryan

One of my favourite moments in BC has been walking around Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. The scenery is just breathtaking. I love how you’re surrounded by snow capped mountain ranges, with their reflection glistening on the water. The smell of pine and the chirps of woodpeckers and chipmunks made me love this place even more.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Columbia River Our troop Eagle's nest, maybe :) Searching for birds

Last week we took a Wetland Wildlife Safari on the Columbia River. The river is sandwiched between the Rocky Mountain Range and the Columbia Mountain Range that create gorgeous backdrops on both sides of the river. The water’s surface was glassy sleek, making the mountains’ reflection on the water breathtaking. Everywhere you look, gorgeousness!

Between the two mountain ranges, in and above this river, the wildlife are active. We saw several eagles, bald eagles (and many of their nests), great blue herons, among other things.

Wally our guide was very helpful and knowledgeable about wildlife. We were also lucky to have companions from Alberta that were knowledgeable about the geological formation of the mountain ranges, making our journey very enjoyable and informative.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Revelstoke BC has some of the best ski hills in North America. During the summertime, these ski hills turn into mountain biking land. On the extreme end, you can try heli-biking. Pretty much it means a helicopter will drop you off on a mountain top, and you bike down. Be ready to brake the whole way! Mike, the owner of Skookum bike and ski rental, suggest us to get a GoPro camera attached to our helmet to capture the scenery, because you’ll miss that: you’ll stare at the terrain in front of you the whole time. Ha! Sounds so wild!

I don’t know whether I will ever be advanced enough in bicycle riding to do any heli biking. This time around was actually my first time riding on a mountain bike! Mike gave me the best bicycle in the shop, and took us on a gentle route along a gorgeous lake. Well, it was more of a flooded river bank than a lake. But this flooding makes the scenery even more gorgeous, with the beautiful reflection of snow capped mountains on the surface.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

Salmon Arm Wharf Shuswap Pie Company Gort's Gouda Cheese Farm The Candy Vault D Dutchmen Dairy

Last week we had an all-dessert morning in Shuswap BC, how awesome is that! In Salmon Arm, we enjoyed Gort’s gouda cheese and lemon cheese cake, Shuswap Pie Company's raspberry rhubarb pie and blueberry pie, various international candies from jars in the Candy Vault, BC cherries from the Salmon Arm’s Farmers Market, and then fresh ice cream from the D Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous.

That was a great morning!

The best spot to picnic in Salmon Arm, a great place for enjoying your pies and fruits, is at the Salmon Arm Wharf, the longest wooden wharf in North America. It has plenty of benches and nice grass for sitting, facing the beautiful Shuswap Lake.

And I guess it will be even better if you have several days to scoot around the lake on a houseboat that you can rent there.

~Team Eagle (Ryan and Dina VagabondQuest.com)

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